Taryn Day's style of painterly realism is inspired by the work of modern painters who combine realism with a strong emphasis on abstract design, such as Richard Diebenkorn, Fairfield Porter, Edwin Dickinson and Edward Hopper.
Here is a composition with mainly blue tones, with just a bit of warmth provided by the flower. My challenge was to create a painting with a focus on one color, without it suffering from that limitation.
I painted this shell using the Zorn Palette (just white, black, yellow ocher and cadmium red), but changed my mind about the background. I wanted the green to be intense, as to contrast with the subtle colors of the shell, so went outside of the (Zorn) box.
I'm still in the midst of teaching a six week class using the "Zorn Palette", and thought I could learn by copying one his paintings. As in the original, I used just titanium white, ivory black, yellow ocher and cadmium red.
Anders Zorn's portrait of his wife is 15.8 × 23.9 in, while my copy is much smaller. Zorn's style is often thought of as full of bravura, but I found the soft, internal expression of the woman subtly and lovingly painted.
This is my grandniece Margo, with the photo credit going to my nephew Jordan Meeder.
I'm gearing up to teach my limited palette class, and wanted to try the Zorn palette on a portrait. Just using white, black, yellow ocher and cadmium red makes painting seem closer to drawing- the values become more important than getting the exact right color. Every tone leads to just two questions- how light/dark is it, and is it cool or warm?
Working in pastel is giving me a real jolt. It's so difficult! Yet the the feel of the soft sticks in my fingers, and the beautiful textures they give are satisfying. I thought it would be kind of like drawing in charcoal, except in color. Instead I find it hard to be very exacting, and easy to get muddy colors (on that point I'm disagreeing with my last post). I can now see why so many pastel artists end up not blending colors, but instead placing strokes of differing colors side by side.
This is drawn on charcoal paper, but I've been reading about preparing my own rough surfaces by mixing ground pumice into gesso and spreading it on heavyweight illustration board. Perhaps I'll enjoy a rougher, sturdier surface. Or perhaps I'll give up and go back to oils!
What really bothers me is having to leave this without a fixitive spray. How on earth to store it? It's as smudge-able as a sidewalk chalk drawing.
I moved into a new studio last week, a space in an industrial building that was once a pants factory. There are about thirty other businesses here, such as a private detective and a kombucha manufacturer, a hair salon and a karate studio. I feel so at home here. The building has such strong bones yet beautiful details.
This is my first painting completed in my new space, a single tulip on an industrial windowsill, casting an evocative shadow.
Here's a photo of my space before I moved in. It looks to me almost like an art school classroom.
I've been continuing to experiment with pastel. This started out loose (and I liked the looseness), but gradually settled down into something quieter and more balanced.
Never having taken a pastel class, and not knowing any pastel artists well, I feel like I need to find my own way with the medium. I ordered a set of very soft pastels by Sennelier, but found them much too soft for details. Then I ordered Nupastels, which I can sharpen to nice points using a razor. I'm very happy with using the two sets in combination.
I tried using fixitive on a section and it darkened the colors dreadfully, so I drew over that area.
I like the intelligent look this goat is giving me.
I've come to think that, although the handling takes some getting used to, pastels are not so different from oils. They are a little easier and faster to blend, just needing a swipe with a finger, but it's still all about values.
Time to get back to oils, as I'll be teaching a limited palette class in January. I spent the afternoon making a chart of Anders Zorn's colors, just yellow ocher, cadmium red, ivory black and white mixed to get a wide range of colors.
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